How important are travel vaccinations?

Traveling bag

It’s travel season and most of us are geared up for another exciting adventure! Bags packed? Check. Passport? Check. Prescriptions? Check. These are the usual questions that run through our minds before we travel, but what about precautionary travel immunisations? The world is full of interesting people and places but is also full of infectious diseases. Fortifying yourself against infectious diseases by getting vaccinated will keep you safe and healthy while you’re traveling. It also helps make sure that you don’t bring infectious diseases home to your family, friends, and community.

On this page, you’ll find answers to common questions about vaccines for travellers.

Which vaccines do I need before traveling?

The World Health Organ­ization (WHO) recommends that all domestic and international travellers alike be immunised against measles, rubella, mumps, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio.

Depending on factors such as the time of year, your destination, health, age and planned activities, additional vaccination could be required.

  • Destination – Traveling to rural areas and developing countries will bring you in contact with certain infectious diseases. Some countries also require proof of vaccination for certain diseases, like yellow fever or polio, before entering the country. You will need additional vaccines when traveling to such countries.
    Here is a map of vaccines that you can use as a guide for your international travels.

travel vaccinations

  • Current health status – If you are pregnant, have an existing illness or weakened immune system, you may need additional vaccines.
  • Routine vaccinations –  The best form of prevention is by staying up to date with your routine vaccinations.

How far in advance should I get vaccinated before I travel?

It is recommended that you visit a doctor or a travel clinic to get your vaccination, at least four to six weeks before departure. Some vaccines require multiple vaccine doses, and some may require some time to build up your immunity before you travel.

Visit your nearest Healthway Medical clinic today, for more information!

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